Oregon Law Live Stream

Webcam is drawing eyes to an osprey nest above UO law school

The birds came first, and then the eggs. And the UO School of Law is on the case.

A live feed from a webcam at the Knight Law Center is providing a birds-eye view of an osprey nest, where mom and dad ospreys are watching over their three eggs, two of which were laid in mid-April. A third was visible May 2.

The nest is on a platform that rests on a specially designed 52-foot lamp post. Ospreys adopted the location after an earlier nest was moved from a light tower at Hayward Field in 2014.

Anyone anywhere now can watch activity at the nest on YouTube.

Members of the law school community have been gathering around a monitor at the school, enyoying the eagle-eye view of activity at the nest.

“The ospreys are feasting on a fish or something right now,” Patrick Sponsler, program director of the Oregon Office for Community Dispute Resolution, said excitedly as he watched the feed. “It looked like an eel, but do we have those in the rivers here?”

It’s possible that Sponsler saw the ospreys dining on lamprey eels, which are common to many Oregon rivers. As to the adult birds’ parenting skills, Beatrice Dohrn, director of the law school’s nonprofit clinic, noticed what the female was doing at the nest.

I aspire to her patience and serenity sitting there, knowing what her body has to do,” Dohrn said.

Some comments have been more tongue-in-cheek.

“The ospreys embody the essence of law school: move and adapt, collaborate and prioritize, and do your work while being monitored," said Jeff Ehren, a student in the conflict and dispute resolution program, with a laugh.

Ospreys, which live up to 25 years, are commonly found across Oregon, mostly in forest habitats close to lakes, rivers and coastal estuaries. They are often seen hovering above water and plunging down to capture fish with their talons.

A big question now is whether the eggs will hatch in time for the law school’s May 19 graduation, and what to call the hatchlings.

Doug Quirke of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center suggests “lawsprey.”

By midsummer, webcam viewers may get to see the baby ospreys take flight.